When a pat on the back isn't enough
Not sure how to reward your assistant for a job well
done? You’re not alone. For many of those lucky enough to
have laudable support, the gesture brings a particularly
head-scratching conundrum: how exactly to do the thanking?
Rick Straud, communications manager for the Kansas City,
Mo.-based International Association of Administrative
Professionals, reminds employers that old standbys like flowers and
candy fall short of a gift’s full potential. “Employers should look
at this as a professional development opportunity,” he advises,
suggesting an educational gift, such as a supplementary course in
new office programs or organizational techniques.
Straud also urges hard-pressed gift-givers to ask their
assistants outright how they would like to be thanked. Even a
seemingly well-meant leave-work-early pass, for example, could
backfire, only heightening the stress of an assistant whose
workload won’t allow early departures. Open communication gives
managers the opportunity to show assistants respect for their
preferences as well as their work.
Finally, Straud suggests involving the entire office in the
appreciation. It will motivate everyone to work harder and why
deprive an assistant of the admiration of his peers? A staffwide
breakfast salute might provide just the kick that last year’s